Change in Attitudes Beliefs and Practices Regarding Gender

The Nahua are fighting an uphill battle to hold on to their culture because mestizos are forcing them off their land, and there is little governmental interest in preserving the indigenous language and culture (Sandstrom, 1991). It is possible to see what happens to Nahua gender relations by comparing communities where the language flourishes with those where Spanish has taken over. Language change often occurs with landlessness and extreme economic, social, and political dislocation. Ethnographers report a great deal of tension, sometimes breaking out in ugly examples of incest and spouse abuse, in the more Hispanized and former Nahua-speaking communities of Tepoztlán (Lewis, 1964), Hueyapan (Friedlander, 1976), Tlayacapan (Ingham, 1986), and Mixquitic (Behar, 1993; Frye, 1996). Here the forces of change have led to a breakdown in the rules of respect by which the Nahuas have managed male ilihuiz. Ingham (1986) reports that men in Tlayacapan no longer care for their recently weaned infants and they express a great deal of hostility toward their wives because they cannot reconcile their ideas of woman as mother and lover. Tlayacapan men are a dramatic contrast to the Nahuat of the sierra norte de Puebla who still believe in hierogamy.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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